A Book Assessment of Thirst by Heather “Anish” Anderson

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Thirst by Heather “Anish” Anderson is a wonderfully written memoir wealthy in autobiographical detail of her record-setting quickest identified thru-hike (FKT) of the Pacific Crest Trail. The audible version (six hrs) is also really effectively narrated and a actual treat to listen to, even if you are not a thru-hiker or thru-hiker aspirant.

Anish is Heather’s trail name, taken right after her Native American grandmother. It is also her alter ego, embodying her resolve, grit, and obsession with setting a PCT FKT. I will not beat about the bush. There are two sides to this book, a single which catalogs a hiker’s unquenchable want or thirst to immerse herself in a lengthy-distance wilderness hike, with all of its healing advantages. It is also a tale of how far a single lady was prepared to push her physical limits to break a speed record in order to develop into popular. The interplay of these two themes tends to make this book a lot a lot more than just yet another thru-hiker travelogue, a single that will retain you pondering about this book effectively right after you finish it.

Hiking forty to fifty or a lot more miles per day for a lot more than two months seriously did a quantity of Anish’s physique. She was continually dehydrated and “peeing orange”, therefore the double which means of the title “Thirst.” She was sleep-deprived, waking early and walking late into the evening every single day. She was starving, barely consuming sufficient to retain going. Her shoulders and back had been painfully chafed and bruised by her backpack. She worried that her blisters had been turning gangrenous, and the list of physical maladies goes on. But she continued cranking out the miles, hiking by means of lightning storms, more than tall mountains, by means of higher mountain passes, encountering mountain lions, bears and snakes along the way.

It is a testament to her determination that she was capable to endure the physical suffering she knowledgeable and nonetheless go on to set a new record. Most hikers and backpackers go by means of the similar procedure but much less intense, harnessing their ambition to take on challenging hikes and then basking in the self-satisfaction that comes with exceeding one’s assumed physical and mental limitations. It is a single of the crucial factors why hikers and backpackers retain coming back for a lot more.

But is Anish’s unbelievable achievement or one thing like it a objective you’d aspire to undertake? That is a query worth pondering. How far are you prepared to push the limits to obtain your dream, on the trail or elsewhere in life? For Anish, her Thirst was capable to overcome every single physical or psychological obstacle in her path and there’s a lesson in that for us all.

Thirst: 2600 Miles to Residence by Heather Anish Anderson is published by Mountaineer Books, (2019), ISBN-13:978-1680512366. Accessible in paperback, for kindle, and audible.com. 

Disclosure: The author bought this book.

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